The FBI releases information regularly on the major types of crimes committed in the USA. According to the latest crime report, property and violent crimes are the most prevalent. Property crime refers to burglary, larceny theft, motor vehicle theft and arson. The highest crime rates were reported for burglary and larceny theft for property crime while in violent crimes the highest rates were reported for aggravated assault and robbery.
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Definitions, Victimization, Offenders and Trends
Burglary refers to the illegal entry into a residence. It may also involve theft or another crime. If the person has no right to be in the residence then a burglary has occurred. If an individual also enters a garage or other structure surrounding the house it is also taken to be a burglary. Where someone forcefully enters a hotel or vacation house it is considered a burglary if there are people who were staying there at the time of the crime. Attempted or successful offenders are arrested. Larceny theft on the other hand refers to where someone unlawfully takes someone’s property other than a motor vehicle. The individual does not use force. He uses stealth by pick pocketing, purse snatching, shop-lifting and committing other forms of theft. In motor vehicle theft, a person attempts or successfully takes unlawfully someone’s motor vehicle. Arson refers to where one deliberately sets fire to property.
The category of violent crimes covers robbery, forcible rape, aggravated assault and murder. A robbery can be described as the attempted or successful stealing from a person property or cash using force or threatening to use force by either using a weapon or not. It is classified as robbery whether the victim is injured or not.
The FBI refers to forcible rape as where an offender forces an individual to have vaginal, anal or oral sex. The individual may use psychological or physical force. The crime covers both male and female victims. It also covers both heterosexual and homosexual rape. Where an individual threatens to rape someone it is classified as attempted rape. In aggravated assault, an individual intentionally attacks or attempts to attack somebody with or without a weapon. It is considered as an aggravated attack whether the victim is seriously injured or not. Murder refers to where an individual intentionally kills another human being.
The rate of violence in was experienced mostly by the black males aged 24 years and younger (Rand & Truman, 2010). Lower rates of violence are reported by females, whites and people who are over 25 years of age. In the violent crimes committed against women, the females knew the criminals in 70% of the cases. For the men, only 45% of them knew the criminals. Females were more likely to report violent crimes more than the males. The males experience higher attacks of aggravated assault and robbery while the females experience higher rates of rape or sexual assault.
When it comes to property crimes, lower income households experience higher rates of property crimes than higher income households. The low income households are those that average an income of $7, 500 per year. When it came to the size of households, larger households experienced higher property crimes than smaller households. Those families with more than five members experienced 3 times the occurrence of property crimes compared to smaller households of single persons.
It has been reported that most offenders of these crimes are over 30 years. 41% of these crimes are committed by those who are 30 years and over. The second highest age of offenders is between 21 and 29 years at 24%. Lastly those under 20 years are at 22%. In crimes committed by single persons, 60% of the offenders were white while 25% were blacks. The offenders were mostly male who were at 79% compared to female offenders at 21%.
Trends in Property and Violent Crimes
As per the FBI statistics, overall the violent crimes have been decreasing as per the information shown above. The greatest increase of crime has been experienced in forcible rape and robbery. While looking at the property crimes, there has also been a decrease in the rate of crime. The highest rates of decrease were noted in burglary and larceny theft (FBI, 2011)
FBI (2011). Crime in the United States. FBI. Retrieved from:
http://www. fbi. gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u. s/2010/preliminary-annual-ucr-jan-dec-2010/data-tables/table-3
Rand, M & Truman, J.(2010). Criminal Victimization, 2009. Office of Justice
Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from: http://bjs. ojp. usdoj. gov/content/pub/pdf/cv09. pdf